In Australia, we have a game called Two-up that is played on ANZAC Day in memory of the Diggers that fought in Gallipoli in Turkey during World War 1. The game was extremely popular with the troops and was simply a case of having a spinner that would toss two or three coins with everyone around in a circle placing bets with each other on Heads or Tails (a tie was a respin). That's gambling and it's purest and was extremely popular with large sums wagered. In theory, no-one had an advantage or a disadvantage.
Now let's look at Chess. The best player almost always wins. Hence, you run out of opponents willing to play for money pretty quickly in your local neighbourhood if you are World Champion.
Backgammon, is a game of skill whereby the dice "deceives" less capable players in the short term into thinking that there is more luck involved in the game than skill. Over the long run though, the skill element comes to the fore and the best players bubble up to the top. That said, the losing players often extract so much enjoyment from the game that it can far outweigh any modest loses that they make.
But how much skill is there in poker? It's easy to learn but impossible to master with an enormous amount of applied knowledge required if you are committed to reaching the top of the pyramid; which is why poker is clearly a game of skill.
In my opinion, the ideal combination of skill and luck exists. As for the most important skill? Without a doubt, game selection. Invest with your head, not over it. If you are a losing player, try dropping to 1c/2c and working your way up when you KNOW that you are winning at any particular level. You'll be very surprised how difficult it is to win at even these levels but the experience will serve you well at every subsequent level.
3 months ago